Last year, the Washington state legislature was said to be considering stronger laws and punishments against “SWATting,” which is trolls’ cute way to take revenge when something displeases them in an online game. They phone a fake call to your local cops and next thing you know, armed deputies are crawling around the backyard.
I’d advise the Washington state legislature to get a little tougher a little sooner because this sort of thing appears to be a real problem there. This time, it happened to Jacob Neumann, a 16-year-old administering a Minecraft group (incorrectly identified as “Mindcraft” by KING-TV). Some troll showed up, said a bunch of filth flarn in chat, and Jacob kicked him. Then it was go time.
Neumann said the troll specifically threatened to send SWAT to his house. “‘Yo dude. You kicked me off line. I’m going to swat your house,'” Jacob said he was told.
A couple hours later, public safety personnel from four different agencies were on the scene, told that a father inside had shot his 14-year-old daughter because she told him she was pregnant. The alert came via text.
Jacob’s father, Dave, was ordered to the ground face first, handcuffed and read his rights. Jacob and his brother also were ordered from their home. While the Neumanns and the deputies were able to calm the situation before anyone got hurt, the family was, as you can well imagine, frightened and a little pissed off.
“My dad was like seriously pretty scared for his life and so was me and my brother,” Jacob told KING-TV.
What makes SWATting so pernicious is the fact that a) public safety agencies take everything seriously. It is their job. These aren’t super trooper goobers who believe ridiculous calls because they’re looking for adventure. And b) it’s not that hard to find the physical location of the IP address for someone who hurt your feelings and didn’t agree that you are a special flower.
Sounds like the piece of shit who did this is from Canada, so who knows what good a state law would have had anyway.